With a lackluster Phillies season behind us, the Eagles ruining football as we know it, and the Flyers sidelined by an NHL lockout, the only thing this town and its citizens were holding out hope for last night was Anthony Bourdain putting forth a favorable representation of our fair city in the The Layover. And thank goodness, he knocked it out of the park. Yes, it’s all about the attitude here, but we pronounce it “atty-tood.” No, we don’t have much tolerance for bullshit, and even less for douche economics. If visits to Pho 75 and the Mutter Museum fail to exorcise your Dirty Frank’s-induced hangover, we don’t know what will. That braised lamb shoulder at Zahav is every bit as good as depicted. And yes, The Geator holds more sway than Kevin Bacon and Bill Cosby.
In a well played move, Bourdain and his crew passed on the tired, old cheesesteak trope, and instead paid tribute to John’s Roast Pork, Paesano’s, and the signature sardine and hard-boiled egg sandwich at American Sardine Bar. A stop at East Passyunk Ave.’s Stateside made Pappy Van Winkle even more scarce. Marc Vetri and Michael Solomonov came off like the culinary equivalent of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker, while Peter McAndrew channeled some sort of Jameson-wielding Yoda when he remarked that this is a place “where people discover who they are.” Still what we can’t seem to wrap our hot dog water-logged brains around was why two of the city’s biggest players in the hospitality realm, Stephen Starr and Jose Garces, were so blatantly overlooked? Strange, huh?